THE Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Cebu City and the Cebu City Police Office, together with the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, conducted on Thursday, September 30, a simulation exercise as preparations for the first day of the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) for the 2022 polls.
Police Captain Edgar Labe, Waterfront Police station chief and ground commander, said among the scenarios they simulated on Thursday were the presence of suspicious “left-behind” baggage, shooting incident, possible unruly crowd and bomb threats, among others.
"So far, nakaplastar man atong personnel og tarong unya...mao lagi na among gisabutan ni Atty. (Boholst) nga og naa na gani mo start og gather nga crowd, dili pa nato huwaton nga mudaghan, i-disperse dayon nato, atong pasabton nga naa ta sa pandemic. Anyway, secured man ang kandidato nga ilang gisuportahan," he said.
He said about 50 policemen, including intelligence personnel, will be deployed during the eight-day long filing of COC from October 1 to 8.
He said they have also asked for augmentation from their other units.
Aside from the police, the Philippine Army and disaster personnel will also be present.
Comelec Cebu City-North District elections officer and lawyer Chaunsey Boholst said the filing of the COC will start at 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 1.
He reiterated some of the measures that will be implemented to ensure smooth and safe filing of the COC. These include the setting up of a waiting area for the aspirants waiting for their turn to file their COC and the limiting of the photo opportunities to be done outside the Comelec office. He said a backdrop will be made for such purpose.
"Inig ka human nila sa sulod, muguwa sila, mo receive sa kadtong notice to file sa Soce (Statement of Comelec Expenditures) unya pagkahuman, picture taking, inig ka human, exit na," he said.
Their supporters can also not enter beyond the barricades that will be put up in the Comelec premises, he said.
He said they will also not allow the candidates to stay for long within the Comelec premises and discouraged them to do any gimmick that would possibly draw public attention.
He said, at most, the aspirants will only be spending about three minutes inside the Comelec office for the COC filing.
Meanwhile, Boholst said a day before the start of the filing of the COC, they have not yet received any information from any political party on the specific time when they will be actually filing their COC.
"Mao nay atong gihuwat sad kay naa man tay gi-estorya sa una nga if possible for them nga ikuan in advance kung unsang orasa, unsang adlawa kay para ma schedule nato nga dili magkadungan," he said.
He said though the aspirants have already filed their COC, they are still not bound to the campaign rules until the start of the campaign period next year. (WBS)